Making Illinois schools safer with new epinephrine law

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Wednesday that'll allow trained school officials to administer so-called EpiPens if a person is believed to be having an anaphylactic reaction.

Starting a new school year can be a difficult time for students, but what if you had food allergies to worry about?

Typically you need a nurse to distribute the injectable epinephrine, but this year Governor Quinn signed a bill stating that teachers are going to have that authority.

Melissa Logan is a mother of two daughters with severe cashew and peanut allergies.

While they are trained to always check labels and read ingredients, she is thrilled that teachers will now be able to distribute the medicine in the classroom.

"I think it's wonderful because the teachers are the ones that know the kids the best and know that they're experiencing a problem, and the reaction is so quick and so severe that even a couple of minutes can make a huge difference, so I think it's great that they don't have to try and find a nurse, and then locate the EpiPen," Logan said.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he is extremely passionate about making schools safer.

"I really feel this is a very very meaningful day in Illinois, it shows when we all come together and collaborate, and work together for something really important, uh, we can make a difference that can save countless lives," the governor said.

Quinn signed the bill just earlier this week, and the law will go in effect starting August 1.

Logan says the news can't come soon enough.

"I mean, I trust the girls friends parents, babysitters, everybody who also is not nurses to give that and to administer that when I'm not able to be with my kids, so I think it's just fine that the teachers," Logan said.

This is not the only education bill that Governor Quinn has signed, he's also singed a legislation to induct mandatory safety drills in Illinois Public schools.

Story by KHQA Multimedia Journalist Lauren Kalil.